The establishment of ‘smart cities’ globally is being driven by the growing need to augment/automate a wide range of legacy productivity, distribution, and consumption platforms. Current and forecast population growth and urbanisation trends demand the creation of hundreds of new cities – or new communities within existing cities – over the next couple of decades, and this is an ideal time to develop, test and implement new technologies to replace outmoded and inefficient platforms.
But, security and data privacy are treated as an after-thought. Somebody else’s problem, effectively, according to several people I spoke to. This is worrying if the majority of systems are to be routinely deeply interconnected in the future. A simple virus could shut off the national grid, crash aircraft, or send nuclear reactors critical. A forthcoming BMI Special Report will look at the development of the ‘Internet Of Things’ and, in particular, at the risks associated with making all critical systems too interdependent.